There is probably one thing that people do not even consider when they have a pet, and that is the emergency situation which means that the family has to go out-of-town suddenly. This leaves the owner of the pet or pets in a quandary since their emergency will have to take precedence of course. It may be wise then to look for a place to leave the pet long before the eventuality arises and to this end, looking for ‘dog boarding’ or something similar, should give enough information for the owner of said pet to start checking out.
Of course, we all love to think that anyone taking care of our special friend will just fall in love with it as we have done. However, this is a business for sure so we must not be naïve. Instead, we should arm ourselves with enough questions to satisfy ourselves that the facility will take care of our baby the way that we would at home.
For example, finding out how many walks per day the pet will be taken on is a good way to start the interrogation. Some pets want to be out all the time so having them locked in a cage is not really the best solution. Ask too if the pets are mixed with others so that they will not miss our company. This ‘socializing’ is often enough to keep them occupied and happy while we are not there.
Of course, it goes without saying that the company must have medical supervision in case anything goes wrong and ask what they would do if there was an emergency. If the pet is already on medication, or needs special attention, be sure to mention this up front and not on the day of departure.
A lot of this can be done over the phone long before the owner of the pet narrow down the choice of places to visit. Once he is down to two or three, it may be a good idea to turn up without an appointment to see how the place is really run. Everyone can prepare for a set visit, but we often get a better picture if we just show up and ask to look around.
It may be a good idea to check out the license that the facility has too since most have to have all the right paperwork before being allowed to operate. But perhaps the best test is to ask friends and neighbors who they use when they have to travel. It stands to reason that if they are happy and satisfied with the service than any pet will be happy at the facility.
Finally, once the right place has been found, try to use this one again since not all places suit the pet. Book up well in advance to avoid disappointment if possible and ask if they can take the pet in an emergency if this should happen. Of course, if they know the pet well, they rarely say no even if they have to squeeze him in at the last-minute.